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JANUARY 19 2007




News from 1964


Inside ?

CHOLA R S Opinions 2

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MMMoney for nothing?! Ever since we Kgpians started paying the Mess Advance of Rs. 6000 at the beginning of each semester, we no longer have to worry about paying our mess bills just before the extremely hectic exam time. All the student expenses, from the mess charges to the hall budget and electricity bills are taken care of by this advance. Not only does this save everyone from some tedious paperwork, it also enables a far easier system of expenditure for the hall. However, the recent notice instructing residents of MMM Hall to pay a sum of Rs. 2500 as advance towards several heads as detailed below has created quite a furor in the campus. The notice, put up just after the semester began, listed the following breakup of expenditure: - Hall Council Activities (Hall Budget): Rs. 605 - Establishment Charges: Rs. 500 - Utensil Charges: Rs. 100 - Student Brotherhood Fund: Rs. 60 - Hall Fund (infrastructure items): Rs. 35 - Electricity Charges: Rs. 1200 The notice had been preceded by another which gave the Mess Bill details for the previous semester (ranging from Rs. 4500 to Rs. 5000 for different blocks), and also informed the boarders that the balance of the Rs. 6000 advance paid at the beginning of the semester would be refunded to the boarders at the end of the academic session. Boarders were naturally confused as to why they had to


Alumni Meet

pay an extra amount when almost everybody had a balance of approximately Rs. 1000, sometimes even more. The issue was raised in the recent meeting (16th January) conducted between Hall Presidents, Wardens, HMC Chairman and Vice President (TSG) in the presence of the Dean (Students' Affairs). The authorities present at first denied knowledge of any such notice, but the Dean assured everyone present that the matter would be looked into. Since then, steps have been taken to put the collection of advance on hold till the warden of MMM Hall returns from leave. When Scholars' Avenue contacted the MMM Hall Office over the issue, we were told that the Warden, on his return, will take a decision while keeping the students' views in mind. A General Body Meeting may also be on the cards for MMM boarders. What got everyone into a tizzy were the seemingly high electricity charges (Rs. 1200 per person for the complete year). Independent confirmations from other Halls of Residence informed us that the Electricity Bill paid by each student for the precious year ranged from as low as around Rs. 350 (RP/RK) to as high as Rs. 1000 (LLR, Patel, Azad, Nehru). This huge disparity in the Electricity Charges has been brought to the authorities' attention. We will be keeping our re a d e r s u p d a t e d o n a ny f u r t h e r developments.

Bhaat Avenue 6


Hall Cafés start brewing

The Nescafé outlet in LLR hall. Along with the one in Patel hall, it is the first in a plan that will soon see Nescafé outlets in every hall. Also in the pipeline are 58 water coolers, which have been procured and whose installation in halls is imminent, and new aquaguards.

What’s the social life at your company like?

Pretty good! LOTS of people marry within!

A snapshot from this year’s placement season

C’est la CAT Congratulations to all IIMcall getters. You could end up living in double rooms in an IIM this year.

Increase in the seats at IIMs IIM Ahmedabad : 30 IIM Bangalore : 20 IIM Calcutta : 18 IIM Indore : 15 IIM Kozhikode : 22 IIM Lucknow : 45

We kid you not. The table alongside gives the increase in the number of seats f or different IIM's this year in the wake of the new reservation regime. While other IIM's have found alternative means of accommodating this year's extra students, IIMI has no choice but to make students live on a room-sharing basis.

Coming back to CAT 2006, suspicions are rife on whether CAT is going the GMAT way. For two years running, CAT has had a relatively easy QA and DI paper while the VA section has graduated from being tricky to being downright treacherous. The fact that the number of options per question has gone up to 5 has only added fuel to fire. For those who are unaware of what CAT '06 was like, here's a quick waltz through it: Quantitative Aptitude was easy. Many in Kgp scored 70+ on 100 and therein lies a story in itself. Data Interpretation wouldn't have killed you, so to say. A little practice before CAT and a little quick thinking during it

would have found you getting a nice score in this section. Verbal came with a chain-saw that had 5 cutters – the trick was to choose the one that'd make the least laceration. Little wonder that many in Kgp, and in the rest of India, were literally left licking the wounds.

IIMA stuck to its pre-declared 25% cut-off for every section. That left quite a few just short of the mark in the Verbal section. IIMC, which has traditionally been a forte for Kgpians, too seems to have used a similar yardstick. IIMB took much more of every candidate's life-span into consideration

when deciding on their GD/PI calls. It took the percentages in 10th, 12th and the CGPA during the candidates' Bachelors into account along with the scores in CAT to decide on their fate. IIMB, by the way, has shown a marked predilection for engineers this year with 904 out of the 1065 candidates called for GD/PI belonging to this category. Amongst Kgpians, Kaushik Saha cracked a 100 percentile while Shaunak Chatterjee logged 99.99. We leave you with the first line of one of the RC's in CAT 06. "My aim is to present a conception of justice which generalizes and carries to a higher level of abstraction the familiar theory of the social contract". Umm… CAT's got your tongue yet?!

Tired of tracking down your wing’s copy of the Scholars’ Avenue? Would you like your own, personal copy, delivered to your room every fortnight?

Subscribe to the Scholars’ Avenue! This offer is open to all students, faculty and staff members of IIT Kharagpur for just Rs. 50 per semester. Send your name, room number/office address and phone number to, or call Aravind at 97326 56938. The first fifteen subscribers will also get back issues for this academic year.

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F E A T UR E S A V E NUE J A NUA R Y 19 2007

Making an I M P A C T ! 1964 alumnus and founder of IIT Kgp's first newspaper, on his life in the campus. Dr. K G Narayanan is a journalist's dream come true. With a vivid recollection of names, places and eve n t s ( h e eve n remembers all his batch mates' roll numbers at the E l e c t r o n i c s Department during his undergraduate stint at Kgp back in 1961!), one couldn't ask for a lot more. What's interesting is that he was a scribe himself during his times at Kgp, as one of the founding members of 'Impact', the first ever campus newspaper. This team of three from Scholars' Avenue (SA) met him a day after his fascinating lecture on the development of indigenous aircrafts in India. Dr. Narayanan has been a key contributor in the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) that he joined in 1965. He went on to become a prime decision maker and retired as Chief Advisor in 2001. Professional awards have come by the dozen for this veteran, who could have easily made a career (not to mention a lot of money) in foreign lands, but chose to stay back for the country.We tell him that his lecture drew patriotic fervour and his work on building the nation's Air Force within the country rather than importing aircrafts is inspirational. He smiles, "I do not like to deliver sermons.You can leave this country if you say that you do not like the President's face, but I will refuse to hear that India does not galvanize you with technical challenges. If young and bright engineers are looking for creative opportunities, we have plenty!" The discussion veers to his times at Kgp, as he shifts gears to a mischievous mode. We ask him about how 'Impact' came along. "Those were strained times after the IndoChina War, when India had been humbled. We students were expected to sing patriotic tunes and inspire fellow mates. Through Impact, we chose comic relief. Impact was not frivolous but it had an underlying idea of making readers laugh at otherwise serious issues on campus". We can't avoid a smile when he mentions the Impact tagline – 'Our sins may be scarlet, but we hope to be read'. Pun intended. "We wrote under pseudonyms

like The Flying Dutchman, Kaygee (for K.G.) etc". Impact, as he informs us, was started during the Second Inter-IIT Sports meet in December 1963. "We put the events from the first day of the meet in the paper and distributed copies on the second day itself. They sold like hot cakes, at a cover price of 25p.We actually had to buy back a few copies and re-sell them!" Impact, true to its name, created a splash on campus and made everyone sit up and take notice. The gleam in his eyes is unmistakable. "A group of 4 entered my room one fine day and offered to underwrite our expenses in return for half a page in the newspaper that would have made Impact their mouthpiece. I turned them down, only to find out later that they were from an as-yet unbor n political party which later became the CPI-ML!" In another interesting incident, Impact printed the marksheet of a student who received marks for exams after he had left the institute! The Director, Dr. S. R. Sengupta, soon found this out, convened a meeting, and lashed out at the Professors for this error, besides shielding Impact from calls to ban it. "We knew that we were creating a buzz but we realized that criticism should be pursued with the intent of improving upon the status quo. For example, today, before connecting students to the LAN, the prerogative of the institute should be to connect them to hygienic toilets." The more he talks about it, the more parallels SA seems to draw with Impact. Even then, it took a night-out for the layout of the issue, and sponsors were few and far between. We show him a few older issues of SA, and he recounts how his farewell article

was uncannily similar to the one written by Amit 'Rolly' Gupta in SA's April 2005 issue. He melts into nostalgia, "Once a Kgpian, always a Kgpian! I spent a few years at IISc during my PhD, but never connected with the place this way." At this juncture, Dr. Narayanan lets in one of his secrets. "Debates, music and dance took a large share of my time at Kgp. I also represented Kgp at the Annual InterUniversity Youth Festival at Delhi for a couple of years. Somewhere along the line, it took a t o l l o n my academics. I flunked a course in my second year, first term and my Scholarship was discontinued. This sum of Rs.75 a month was my lifeline - I could not pay my hostel fees, and even decided to drop out of IIT." We gasp. He continues, "I spoke to my Warden about my decision but he convinced me to reconsider and was kind enough to instruct the babu not to name me in the defaulter's list for a term. I studied hard for the next term, and got back my Scholarship with retrospective effect." The rest, as they say, is history. A look at our watch tells us that we've been talking for almost two hours. Thoroughly awe inspired, we politely take his leave. He is quick to remind, "Oh, by the way, if you do write about this chat, make sure that it's readable. You're engrossed doesn't mean you're engrossing!" Point noted, Sir! Dr K G Narayanan is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering at IIT Kharagpur.




To read these articles online and to give your feedback on them, please visit our website at

Executive Editors ? Chintan Thakkar, Nitin Basant, Sunny Somani, Swati

The Scholars’ Avenue is proud to be associated with the launch of the online edition of IMPACT magazine. Electronic copies of back issues are available at: also provides the latest campus news through our coverage of events as they happen. Web hosting provided by:

Editors ? Aneesh Jain, Aravind RS, Riti Mohapatra, Rohit Shankar, Saahil Bhanot, Samya Mandal, Shishir Dash, Umang Jain Sr. Reporters ? Aditya Marathe, Anuj Dayal, Arish Inam, Sheekha Verma, Sreeja Nag, Suvrat Bafna Reporters ? Anup Bishnoi, Deepak Cherian, JS Deepthi, Mithun Madhusudan, Pranesh Chaudhary, Srinath Sinha,Vinayak Pathak

Send letters to the editor, regarding any article in this issue of The Scholars’ Avenue or any other topic affecting IIT Kharagpur, to:

Jr. Reporters ? AVN Murthy, Bharat Bhat, Mayank Kedia, Pallavi Jayannavar, Siddharth Singh, Suyash Bire Printed at Quest Printers, Prembazaar.

This new medium will assist in furthering the objectives of IMPACT, which have remained unchanged for over four decades - to promote a frank and free expression of views, to provide a medium wherein the members of this campus can not only exercise their literary talents but also exchange views and opinions on matters of common interest.

Our sins may be scarlet, But we hope to be read - Editors, IMPACT

J A NUA R Y 19 2007 F E A T UR E S









“Yours is the right age for an entrepreneur” – Vinod Dham You might've heard it over and over again, but there is no better way to describe Vinod Dham than 'The Father of the Pentium'. After a hugely successful stint at Intel, he went on to start-up billion dollar companies in the Silicon Valley and has now turned into Ve n t u r e C a p i t a l i s t himself. A m a n wh o wa s recognized by former US President Bill Clinton, Vinod Dham is in a league of his own when it comes to one-line repartees. "I have a small brain and can think of only one idea at a time." Humility, take a bow! Excerpts from an interview with SA and his guest lecture at the Netaji Auditorium: Q] We've all heard of your success story with the Pentium chip. Could you talk us through the technical challenges that you faced as a designer when Intel advanced from the 486 to the Pentium? A] Over the years, the speed of Intel's chips was becoming increasingly critical to the customers. If we had remained complacent with the 486, Intel's monopoly would have ended. The technology of the architecture that we had used until then with the 486 would've been difficult to map to a chip of double its speed. We took a bold decision to incorporate a new technology into the architecture, which later paid great dividends with the Pentium, since we were the first ones among the big players to do it. Q] Even after the successes of the Pentium and your start-up companies, Nexgen and Silicon Spice, what is it that still keeps you going? A] I see no point in getting tired. As you grow older, you get more experienced, and this is the time that you can contribute the best to society. As long as your body supports your mind, there's no stopping you! Q] If one has an idea that could be sold as a product, how does one go about doing a start-up? A] If someone has an idea, he should find an appropriate venture capitalist and impress him sufficiently to get his financial backing. Most importantly, the idea should be presented in such a way that it appears to be a painkiller and not a vitamin. As a venture capitalist, I get thousands of new ideas every year, most of which are overlapping. My advice to you is simple – Present your idea in such a way that I get too excited to turn you down! If a person is very particular about his idea, he should get a third party involved, preferably a lawyer, and get the idea patented. The most brilliant ideas are, although, the simplest ideas. Q] Is a professional management degree essential for an entrepreneur? A] Bill Gates was a college dropout, and he didn't need an MBA to establish Microsoft. To be a successful entrepreneur, you shouldn't just be a computer junkie.You need to be outgoing, willing to talk to people, network effectively and be able to convince your customers that your product will work. If

your ethics are in the right place, you're bound be successful in the long run. I don't have an MBA degree myself, but I value it now that my son is doing it! (laughter) Q] This might sound clichéd, but does one really need to go to the US to be successful? A] Not really. India itself has a lot of opportunities, which is why, after all these years as a global citizen I have come back to India as a venture capitalist. At this point of time Information Technology (IT) is probably the most exciting sector in India. To give you an example, Oracle outsourced one of its projects to the Bangalore-based Symphony. The group of Indian engineers at Symphony was so brilliant in its execution that Oracle dished out a significant part of its database development to the company. What Oracle found a few years later is that they knew precious little about the portion handled by Symphony. Now, databases are Oracle's prime products and Oracle was forced to continue with Symphony, which gradually

raised the prices for its service! In technical terms, you call this 'stickiness' in the market. Make someone so dependent on you that he can never say goodbye. Q] Which technologies do you think would be the next best things, say in 5 years? A] Nanotechnology and biotechnology. Q] And what would be obsolete? A] Obsolete? May be the television! (smiles) After a new technology hits the market, it takes around 10 years for it to reach 80-90% of the households. Every product has a 30-year life cycle. But then, when the motorcycle was invented, the bicycle did not go out of business, and when the car was invented, nor did the motorcycle. Every product has a different market and the advent of a new technology does not eliminate it completely. Q] What should India do to produce more Vinod Dhams? A] I get a feeling that there already are many more Vinod Dhams in the making, and that too in a variety of sectors. Indian boys and girls are the smartest in the world! The focus, however, should currently be on innovation rather than production. For instance, India shouldn't really be keen to produce microchips by the thousands (since fabrication facilities demand investments of almost 3-4 billion dollars), but rather encourage its engineers to innovate in the field of semiconductor devices and VLSI.

Dressing up the Campus The grass is no greener on the proverbial "other side". Not any more at least. Bereft of any landscaping in the past, Kgp is now undergoing its first major landscaping project. Initiated by Prof. S.C. Kundu of the Biotechnology Department in July 2006, this project aims to resolve landscaping issues in The New and Old Academic Complexes, The Dean Complex and around Puri Gate. Future plans include landscaping in the Hostels and other areas inside the campus. Proposals to set up a jogging track along the 2.2 and fountains across the Academic Complex are pending. The project is being funded by the institute. Don't be surprised if in the near future, you are sitting under the lights on the luscious lawns of Vikramshila, spending a lovely evening taking in the sweet fragrance

of the flowers. If all goes well, this should be a reality in a year. Levelling of the targeted areas is almost complete. Sprinklers have already been installed. Lawns should be up and ready in about two months. After completion, maintenance is slated to be handed over to professional contractors. The need for landscaping had arisen because of lax construction work carried out by contractors who irresponsibly left debris on the area designated for greenery. This problem had compounded over the years, spoiling the otherwise beautiful look of the campus. Scholars' Avenue looks forward to reporting on more such initiatives from inside the campus, which will most certainly go a long way in improving the quality of life in the institute.

Barren ground... but not for long. (In front of Vikramshila)

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J A NUA R Y 19 2007

Dedicated to the service of the Nation

- the only way to be?



Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a starter home. Choose dental insurance, leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that? --Trainspotting

With each winter and the commencement of placement season, the most commonly heard rant is about how students at our sister institutions get international offers with astronomical pay packages and a direct ticket to videsh. From a student's perspective, the person getting placed, it seems substantial that a restriction be imposed upon the companies he/she can apply to. "Dedicated to the service of the nation" they say and as a principle foreign recruiters are not allowed to visit the campus.

More importantly, even after an Indian has made it to one of the better colleges in India (and we can assume the IITs to be amongst those) should he choose to stay on and work for the rest of his life in India? Policy decisions apart, there is a certain section which would want to do and why shouldn't they? The Government of India gives an annual grant of almost one hundred crore rupees to IIT Kharagpur, which roughly translates to around five lakh rupees per person annually and every student is being offered education at 5% to 10% the cost. Simple economics, the IITs are undoubtedly the most loss making ventures in the care of the Government of India and if any chunk of the production is being donated to other countries, they should be closed down. Globalization has not only brought foreign multinationals to India but has also allowed Indian companies to establish a strong presence in foreign lands. These expansion plans in most cases are being led by IITians. It is always easier for an Indian to reach the top in an Indian company. Nationality is a big influence in deciding who holds the more important positions in any company. When people of the same nationality, cultural background are competing, the biases in the minds of the judges are minimal and it is the effort that matters. The worst fear every Indian who plans to settle abroad has is of racial discrimination. Whatever you do in your adopted motherland you shall not be a naturalized citizen of the place and shall always be treated like an outsider. The cultural differences are so large that the only friends you will make there will be Indians themselves. What is the charm in living in a country where you have no social life and hardly any friends? The open markets have allowed foreign multinationals to set up offices in India. The work culture in these offices is at par with the outside world and the salaries are competitive by Indian living standards. There is no dearth of opportunities in the Indian job market these days. The open markets in other countries and development of excellent means of communication have enabled every working human to transform into a truly global citizen.You can stay in India and work on an assignment being implemented in Canada, with teams in USA and for clients in China . The opportunities available in India are at par with the rest of the world. The fastest way to get rich is by starting one's own company. Sadly as born Indians we best know the needs associated with India and making a product for those needs is definitely easier than trying to figure out a need in a foreign market, conceptualizing the product and starting production. The investment required to startup a company is definitely lower in India than in most other countries. There is a large pool of talent to choose from and the infrastructural needs are being taken care of by various government and private agencies. There is ample support of such activities with the private and public forces coming together. Career apart, the greatest charm of living in India is family and friends. For all your life you've lived here and made friends, friends who've been with you in good and bad times. Is it easy to move away from people who you know will be there for you, who care about you?

S CHOLS A V E I NBOX I READ THE JAN 5 ISSUE AND I ENJOYED EACH AND EVERY section thoroughly. Especially, the article by Aneesh is superb, the guys who are passing out this year would know why :) Well I agree with Aneesh when he says KGP is lagging behind other IITs of metros in getting full corporate attention. Just for example Deutsche Bank went to IIT B , IIT D and even to IIT K but couldn't manage to go to KGP till now. And as far as I know they have already closed their fresher recruitment. But one idea would be not to maaro peace on

The advantages of allowing foreign companies to recruit from IIT's are many. Higher salaries are the most conspicuous argument. But there are many other benefits that we forego with the imposition of this restriction which go beyond the most obvious one; that of higher pay packages. "At 21 with BTech, IITians bag $100,000", Economic Times, 15th December 2006. It is popular perception that graduating from an IIT translates into 6-digit salaries and an executive class ticket through life. It's the Great Indian Dream come true and is followed by phone calls from the girl next doors mother inviting Chetan beta over for dinner. Back here on planet Kgp, everyone knows that such obscene salaries are picked up by a select few. But delving a little further, allowing foreign companies to recruit simply means an increase in average salaries on a whole. The best profiles pick up the best international offers thus unblocking the best Indian packages that would go to them otherwise. These then become open to the average students and in a cumulative effect the whole batch benefits. Firstly it is an increase in the number of companies coming to campus and secondly it results in an overall increase in salaries for the graduating class. So, Chetan beta does have hope yet. There are many advantages working with a multinational at a global level other than the imminent monetary perks. With an increased focus on a global economy, awareness about international practices assumes prime importance. Working with a global firm at a global level puts you in the perfect position to pick up all there is to know about the market dynamics that shape the present world economy. Whereas working with an Indian firm the commute to that level is long and time consuming. And in today's world that time can make all the difference. Investment banks, oil majors, consulting firms; companies increasingly drawn to India and its booming economy are most likely to put an IITM, D, B, G, R graduate as head of India operations considering their alumni are already a part of the company. A Kgpian, starting with an Indian company, on the other hand will have to have gained considerable experience and change a few jobs to get there. The fact is that after joining an Indian company or a multinational's India office, an IITian is extremely likely to go abroad as and when the opportunity opens up. By restricting foreign recruiters to come to campus this is just delayed. Of course this does come at a price, the particular student ends up losing precious work-years, taking more time to reach a certain place in his/her career, compared to his/her peers from other IITs. The point being that it is impossible to control something, more so by a particular restriction. And eventually for an IITian to return and give back to the country what he/she received as a student, heavily subsidized quality education, the urge has to come from within. It is thus, quite an ineffective ploy to try to enforce that by restricting foreign companies to recruit from campus.

whatever offer you get from campus, for the market is hot and you people are hotter than any damn thing, trust me!! So that junta who are not happy with the offer they get from campus would better maaro fight off campus instead of only partying this last semester and take the help of your seniors in this.

I AM VERY PLEASED TO SEE THIS STUDENT LED INITIATIVE and to note the enterprise and interest in journalism.

Finally I must say Prof. Gautam Sinha needs all accolades for the Herculean effort he has been putting in to make placements at KGP a great success. Write a post about his travails while getting companies come to KGP campus, it would be an interesting article.

THANKS FOR SHARING THE STUDENT NEWSLETTER. I AM pleased to see the activities currently pursued by the students.

KGP ka tempo high hai!!! Kamlesh Tiwari, 2005 batch, AZ, DFE

Nitish Thakor, Professor, Johns Hopkins Univ. Editor in Chief, PiTech

I have graduated almost 4 decades ago and not in touch with the current student body at all, although we have interactions with the alumni in general. You are doing a fine job. Ujjal Mondal, 1968 batch, RK, EE

J A NUA R Y 19 2007 F E A T UR E S









MakIn’ sure You Know What you can get for Rs. 696 a year. The registration procedures for yet another semester draw to a close, and we go through the motions of filling out pay in slips and signing xerox copies, standing for hours in serpentine queues at serious risk of atleast minor orthopaedic damage, never questioning or even as much as looking over twice what it is that we are gladly shelling out someone's hard earned money for. Among the appropriately vague looking list of individual breakups of your total semester fees, concealed from the scarcely interested cursory glance is a very important term. It is the insurance premium you are paying to a very respectable and well recognized bank . At 20 or 21 years of age, when you probably aren't clear on what kind of a job you want ( or maybe you are ! ), what kind of a car would be parked in your driveway and who or why you'll marry, you are already insured . And that too with ICICI, one of the most revered and admired private institutions in India in recent years. Ever thought about that ?! Some time ago, the institute authorities came up with an intelligent and socially laudable idea of insuring all the students enrolled . The initial tie-up with United India Insurance was a step in the right direction and it paved way for a much better and well chalked out plan for the implementation of the aforementioned plan. ICICI Lombard, apparently India's numero uno in private general insurance, an ISO 9001: 2000 certified company, takes pride in its Student Medical Insurance Plans and the Student Welfare Policy here at IIT Kgp is a flagship of the same family. The policy currently benefits 6000 students on the campus. A meagre premium of 696/- payable once a year covers the beneficiary from 1st of August to the 30th of July and opens doors to crucial and significant benefits endorsed by the plan. The medical previleges are numerous and overall excellent. You get treatment for

upto 50,000/- per year from one of the many hospitals and nursing homes that are affiliated to the policy ( these are listed on the site ). This is huge benefit to be derived since the campus hospital lacks many critical amenities, specially facilities and staff for orthopaedics. Even outdoor tests, including X rays and CT scans are done for free, a huge plus over the privileges UNI provided. This was not provided by the UNI policy, a reason why they had to make way for ICICI Lombard, which in turn might have to go if a better scheme is found when quotations are invited in March this year. Also, unlike the UNI policy, dental treatments are included in the policy, which was well used by an M.Tech student who got her teeth done before leaving for the US this year. Another improvement over the UNI policy is in the case of diseases that predate the policy period. The UNI scheme did not cover any new treatment for an ailment that already afflicted patients before they obtained insurance cover. The new policy covers all such conditions and sufficiently too. The only thing lacking, if it can be called that, is that the policy does not cover the expense of medicines. This can be easily overlooked when you consider that the policy only charges 425/- out of the 696/paid as premium. This is an interesting fact, that the institute keeps the remaining 271/for a purpose which, again, is an example of exemplary intelligence on the part of the authorities. The remaining sum is kept aside for cases where the claim does not translate into insurance money, and the institute pays out the policy holder from this account.

Aside from the medical insurance, the policy, like all insurance policies, entertains other claims too. Accidental death of the paying parent / guardian, for instance, where the policy pays out 3.0 lakhs as compensation, and the death or permanent disability of the policy holder, the student in this case, where 2.0 Lakhs is paid out to the family of the victim. Death of a parent / guardian is recompensed with 2.60 lakhs. The formalities for making the claim are minimal and detailed information can be obtained from the Nodal Officers or the wardens concerned. Other situations that the policy covers are loss / theft of a piece of baggage or a cycle where 2500/- and 500/- respectively are the compensations. Detailed information can be obtained from:

The Scholars’ Avenue talked to Prof. R.K. Jha, Assistant Coordinator of the policy in IIT K g p, wh o wa s e x t re m e ly ke e n o n disseminating this information through the student community. He was of the view that very few students know that they are covered under a policy and even lesser know what benefits they can derive from it. He said that he was willing to go to lengths so that students can benefit from what they're paying for every year. He wished us to be his mouthpiece and let students know he can be contacted anytime regarding this matter and would be more than willing to help in all capacities. His contact number and email can be found on the site above. The Scholars’ Avenue exhorts the student community to check out the details of the policy and be aware of its privileges, since accidents and thefts are things better taken care of before they happen. The effort is worth the while and will surely be well made in case of an emergency.

The Serious Side of Spring Fest Barely a week to go for SF, we take a look at safety measures in place It's never a piece of cake to organize an event at as large a than not, it results in a state of scale as SF. T he sudden pandemonium which can easily population burst it causes c h a n ge i n t o a s t a m p e d e presents a big challenge even (remember last year?) if not to the most skillful managers. taken care of properly. The SF Huge crowds, lots of people security team being completely breaking the rules, "eveaware of the scenario has taken teasing" and chaos in general some proactive measures. It are some of its most annoying plans to close the institute main features. It is an area that TOAT: Structurally unsound gate an hour before the star definitely calls for attention and hence the SF nites start and form a queue outside the gate team assigns considerable amount of as was done on the second star nite last year. resources to it. A team consisting of all the Another major issue that has come into Hall Presidents, the Vice President picture in the last few years is the extremely (Gymkhana) and a few Steering Committee dilapidated condition of the Tagore Open Air members looks after the issue. Here is a peek Theatre. The two blocks at the back are so into SF security. weak structurally that it has been decided Experience shows that all the major not to use them at all, reducing TOAT’s security issues centre around the star nites capacity by more than half. According to the and the TOAT. First of all there is the plan, the two rows in front will be used for desperate junta trying to push its way guests and the rest by students - there will be through the small entrance to the TOAT to no space for staff or faculty. This definitely is a attend the glamorous star nites. More often big compromise but the SF team sees it as a

trade-off between quantity and quality. An alternative was to use the Jnan Ghosh stadium for the star nites but the idea wasn't welcomed by the institute authorities. According to them, Jnan Ghosh wasn't a good choice from the point of view of security and to prepare it for the event would require large infra structural expenses, which the SF team wasn't able to afford and the institute isn't ready to invest. However, this has a bright side too. In the past, passes given to the staff were allegedly sold to the outsiders. This year, the pass system has been done away with, while the two star nites at TOAT will be exclusively for the students, all the institute faculty and staff are invited for the other programmes including the Hasya Kavi Sammelan and Anubhav. Even with the substantial setbacks they face, we hope that the great effort put in by the SF organizing team will culminate in a good show this year.

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4th Annual Alumni Meet Nostalgia wasn't the only emotion aroused at the 4th Annual Alumni Meet, IIT Kgp, held this year from the 5th to the 7th of January. Anger, too soared high with debates about the propriety of expecting alumni to maintain their halls. Kgpians returning to their alma mater after a long time were both happy to see the vast extension of facilities and sorry at the neglected state of infrastructural affairs everywhere. The dinner in the lawns of SAM hall on 5th evening marked the unofficial start to the meet and gave the alumni a chance to meet up. Maximum participation was from the batches of 1957 and 1982, special invitations had been sent to whom to commemorate their 50th and 25th graduation anniversaries respectively. The next day started with the trademark KGPian chaos at registration, with huge, winding lines crowding the area in front of F142, thanks to the last minute shifting of venue from outside TOAT due to 'excessive' sunlight in the shaded tents. The Inaugural ceremony was followed by the award giving ceremony and talk by Dr. Asit Biswas, our Distinguished Alumnus and

winner of the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize in appreciation of his international efforts in water management. The Panel Discussion, held immediately afterwards was a cliché: 'IIT Kharagpur 50 years hence'. Later in the afternoon, the StudentAlumni Interaction the presentations made by students quickly took a back seat as the alumni questioned the authorities about the Infrastructural death of IIT Kgp. Most said that they were shocked by the appearance of their halls and questioned the authorities' neglect. When the renovation of RK was pointed out, the valid and obvious counter was that the refurbishment cannot be sustained for a long time without proper care. The heated debate, painfully similar to parliamentary sessions, finally concluded that proper vigilance on part of both the bureaucrats and students is vital to give a fresh lease of life to the maintenance system, and questioned the extent of use of alumni money in the matter. A visibly relieved group was later entertained to enthralling performances by

Library to be Tech-ified Technology leaves nothing untouched in the Indian Institute of Technology, and the Central Library seems to be no exception. In a massive make-over for the library, automated check-in and check-out systems are being put in place using a technology called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). The new machines and the electronic security gate which greet people as they enter the library are a part of the trial run of the project. 5000 books have been RFID tagged at a net cost of 20 lakhs which was sanctioned by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The book-issue kiosk (beside the entrance on the right hand side) reads these tags, takes in the library card as in an ATM and can issue three books to the card at one go. The portable drop-box nearby is for returning the books and automatically prints out a receipt as a book is slid into it. The security gate blares out an

audio and visual warning if a non-issued book is sneaked past the electronic security gate. The system has been tested and found to be working well. The system is also expected to solve the daunting problem of misplaced books in the library by way of a portable hand-held tracking device to trace down a RFID-tagged book lying in a wrong shelf. There will be drop-boxes at different places in the campus (departments, main building, etc.) so that students can return the books anytime they wish, without any restriction of Library timings. Since all the books haven't been tagged yet, the system is not in service as of now. The full project is expected to cost more than Rs. 10 crores and the proposal is still awaiting final approval. The full implementation has been proposed to be completed within two years, brought down from an earlier estimate of three years.

ETMS and TDS. Among the alumni performing, Professor S. Bandhopadhyay aka 'The Singing Professor' from UNSW with his cricketing "what's the word I'm looking here for" and Mr. Siddarth Sen with his heartnumbing performance with the mouth organ swayed the crowd too. They were in for a pleasant surprise when they came out; adrenalin ran high with waving banners and tempo shouts from all the halls greeted their alumni. They were later escorted to their respective halls for visit and dinner, which allegedly stretched to 4AM!! The food during the whole meet was a delight, and The Scholars' Avenue highly recommends such food at mess tables. If wishes were money! The Alumni Cell, the organizers did a commendable job, and also took some initiatives. A social networkingstyle database of the alumni is being created on the institute website, on lines of IIT-B. Here's hoping that all the deliberations and scrutiny finally lead to committed attention to the infrastructure.

Reviving Indian Heritage A look at the reborn SFIH and its plans Following the slew of societies that have come up during the past few semesters, the SFIH – Students' Forum for India's Heritage is being revived and put through motions by a group of "heritage and culture sensitive" people from all walks of the Kgp fraternity. This society was the brainchild of Raghav Mittal, an alumnus of our institute. Since its inception in 2002, it has invited stalwart achievers from various fields to deliver guest lectures or to participate in panel discussions to expose the students, who are the cream of the nation's intellectual capital, to their proud heritage and to sensitize them to the challenges at hand. The big-wigs who have graced the stage for them include Sir Michel Danino of IFIH, Prof. Amitayush Vyas of Princeton University and Prof. H. C. Verma (We are all familiar with this name). The paucity of able successor(s) in their ranks, their obvious leaning towards the right wing and the abundant apathy the GenNext has for such initiatives caused the society, which claims to be autonomous despite being under the Gymkhana umbrella, fade into oblivion after Mr Mittal graduated in 2004. It was eventually a couple of volunteers from older times and a few other passionate people who took the onus of its resuscitation upon themselves.


SFIH started off on the 12th of this month with an essay-writing competition called Abhivyakti on Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary. Participation was fairly good for a novice society given the numerous interhall events and the low tempo among the junta during the month of fests. SFIH also has ambitious plans of an India-centric quiz, GD sessions, a mock parliament and a lot of guest lectures in the offing.

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common sense is hype !

The Shah - Shank Damnation Volume 4 More than two people took a lot of time out to answer just one question

Sniglets EUFIRSTICS (yew fur' stiks) n. Two people waiting on the phone for the other to hang up first.

words that don't appear in the dictionary but should !!

Nature Calling...

GRANTNAP (grant' nap) n. The extra five minutes of sleep you allow yourself that somehow makes all the difference in the world. MAGNIPHOBIA (mag ni fo' be uh) n. The fear that the object in the side mirror is much much closer than it appears.

To K ll A Mocking Bird! Disclaimer: This article is factually and politically incorrect. Any resemblance to any person, bird, aircrafts, Goddess or anything else living, non-living or dead is purely coincidental and the writer apologizes for the lapse in concentration. SALUA AIR BASE, CIRCA 1941 A.D.: British Fighter ace Squadron Leader Merry O' Morry makes a low pass over the airstrip's control tower, a buzz in other words, to celebrate his downing of two Jap A6M Zeros. Near the end of the victory spiral, his spitfire hits a bird and all three of them (the Spitfire, the bird and Sq. Ldr. O' Morry) fall to the ground, sputter and die. In the days that follow, British Air Forces in the Midnapore region suffer massive setbacks, in absence of Sq. Ldr. O' Morry's able leadership as also due to the dead bird's stench that pervades the airstrip. The base's Indian support staff has recently embraced communism and is on strike. British Special Services officer Lieutenant Goldberg is flown in with orders to take the project code-named "Bird-matter" in his experienced hands. He follows his orders to the word and soon the deceased bird's remains cease to be a problem. Historians while deliberating on the inconspicuousness of Sq. Ldr. O' Morry's remains reached the conclusion that those never were a problem, being sufficiently dehydrated so as to not result in further degeneration and therefore produce no stench. Coming back to Salua, circa 1941, Lt. Goldberg is now stranded as the plane which carried the remains of the dead bird was also supposed to carry him and had disappeared 5 minutes after take-off. Not one given to leisure, Lt. Goldberg takes the initiative to make Salua bird-hit free. All over China though the infamous Bird Extermination Program (or BEP) is in full trigger-happiness. Lt. Goldberg finds himself in a political conundrum. Torn between his dreams and also in not being seen as encouraging communist propaganda in a land ripe for the sickle and hammer, the lieutenant has a stroke of genius. As flying in those days was limited to daytime, Goldberg figures just an alteration of the circadian rhythm of birds would suffice. This incredible time-division algorithm for air-space sharing was to later find application in busy air-routes across the world. In a mammoth British Air Force operation all birds in Salua are captured. They are made to stay awake at night watching a special war-time screening of the all-time great bird classic "The Roman Holiday" starring Gently Peck and Audrey Hep-Bird. Early the next morning they are put to sleep when the screen switches from the movie to displaying video-lectures on marketing which was back then considered a birdbrain subject. Eventually, over many years, the birds did fall back to their original sleep cycle. However as is well known across the Kgp campus they still get up in the middle of the night to chirp homage to a goddess who came to their forefathers out of nowhere and forever changed the principle : "The early bird gets the worm."

Dear Bhaat, I am trying to learn hindi rather unsuccessfully. I think my fellow kgpians will shun me (more importantly bandis too) and I will forever feel left out. Help! Dear Reader, Your knowledge is as good as how you project it. So while you do try and learn hindi (and we encourage you to do this), here are a few easy ways in which you can pretend to 'know' hindi. 1. Whenever you are confused or do not understand what the other person is saying (and there is a high probability that this will happen often), sport the look you would have if someone told you that your mother was in your hostel wing and use the words 'kya majjak chal raha hai' with the emphasis on the word 'majjak' (________). Eg. a)"yaar mere paisa wapas kar de" "kya majjak chal raha hai!” b)"Bhartiya prodyogiki sansathaan kharagpur ko ek patrika ne bharat ka sabse behtareen prodyogiki sansathaan karaar diya hai" "Kya mazaak chal raha hai!" 2. Use the words 'load mat le' when you get bored of using the above. Eg. "meri nehli lag gayi" "load mat le" 3. Another phrase you can use without a care in the world...‘sahi hai be’ Eg. "meri aaj bhi job nahin lagi" "sahi hai be” 4. End every sentence with the word 'dost' / 'yaar' A final example of usage of the above..... "arre!..You are going out with my girlfriend dost? sahi hai be” We hope this dummies guide to hindi learning has been of help to you, dost. If you find it backfiring when confronted with unforseen hindi sentences, we'd suggest 'load mat lena'.

What did one cigarette say to another?

My butt’s on fire ! Statutory Warning: Cigarette smoking and reading this column are injurious to health.


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DID YOU KNOW ? Only 3 words in English end with -gry: Angry, Hungry and Unangry

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J A NUA R Y 19 2007

Internships at GE Here is an opportunity to work with experts in the design and analysis of aircraft engine components and power generation equipments. The time you spend during your stay at JFWTC will be one you will cherish as you will have first hand exposure of a world class facility with variety of technologies which are making difference to the lives of people across the globe. Additionally you also will get an opp. to work global designs team spread across the globe depending upon which program you work on. We welcome you to spend your final project work with us and have an exciting time. Please contact: (for M-TECH & Dual Degree) The process of selecting intern from B.Tech may go through Training & Placement (IIT KGP)

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Jan 19, 2007